Magazine article American Libraries

Teacher Leaves $6.8 Million to Boston PL

Magazine article American Libraries

Teacher Leaves $6.8 Million to Boston PL

Article excerpt

A retired public school teacher and guidance counselor who spent his days studying the stock market at the Boston Public Library left his entire $6.8-million estate to the library's Kirstein Business Branch. The bequest, announced December 7 by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, is the largest donation from an individual in the library's 152-year history.

Thomas R. Drey Jr., who died of cancer in 1997, lived modestly in the house he grew up in and parlayed a small inheritance from his father into a multimillion-dollar fortune. "This was a simple individual who wanted to say thank you to a system that allowed him to be successful in life," Menino told the December 7 Boston Globe. "He is making sure that the next generation can invest in that knowledge, and be successful like him."

"We are excited, not only because of the magnitude of this gift, but because of the important statement it makes about the library's vibrancy and vitality," said Boston Public Library President Bernard A. Margolis. "Mr. Drey used the library every day. He learned how to be a shrewd investor. This significant bequest is not only testimony to an individual's investment skills, but also to the knowledge base which he relied on here, which is free and available to everyone at the Boston Public Library."

The money has been deposited into a fund designed to support the branch's business service including expanding branch hours, purchasing additional computers and online databases, and boosting its periodical and book collections. …

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